Part 92: Sirocco: Update 26
Sirocco's Year: Part Twenty-Six
This was not something I foresaw. Veekie's throat was slashed open by a mistimed swing during a sparring match. It was an unfortunate accident, they say. It could have happened to anyone.
Last night as I was getting ready for bed a note was slipped under my bedroom door. I quickly looked outside but... there was no one there. The handwriting was smudged here and there but the message was very clear. I could feel goosebumps prickling my skin as I read and reread the single sentence scrawled on the grubby scrap of paper I held in my hands.
IF YOU CONTINUE TO INTERFERE THEY WILL ALL DIE.
The next morning I ordered Robert Deadford to take Veekie's place as one of the Royal Guard and equipped him with a hammer. I've been thinking hard about the message I've received. I need to show whoever this is that I can't be scared out of my responsibilities!
Giant moles! And a woolly mammoth, for spice and variety, ha ha ha!
Although they are untrainable, we can still chain them to the gatehouse. One flick of a lever and they'll be released to unleash their dreadful claws (and tusks) on the enemy. It's not much but it may give us an edge when the Spawn attack during Moonstone.
I was just admiring the chains when I heard a commotion in the main lobby. I ran inside, fearing the worst.
It was Jazzimus.
He was having some sort of... fit on the floor. The others were all looking at each other worriedly and whispering.
'The voices! THE VOICES!' Jazzimus screamed. 'They're... breaking... my MIND...' his hair was damp with sweat and plastered to his face. His eyes bulged from their sockets and froth was pouring from his mouth. He looked insane.
He noticed me and, pointed one outstretched, bony finger towards me. 'THEY'RE COMING... FOR YOU!!!' he screeched. He shuddered a few times and was still. Chance II walked over to him and pressed two fingers to his neck.
'He's just unconscious.' He looked at me. I've never seen Chance afraid before, but there was a definite hint of fear in those eyes. It was in everyone's eyes I noticed as I looked around.
Everyone knew something was wrong, even if it was in the subtlest way imaginable. The dogs scurried to and forth with their tails between their legs. No one sang. The children did not laugh when they played. The entire fortress was stuck in a grey, lugubrious slump. And I was the only one who could remember why.
'Take him to his room,' I said. 'I'll see how he is later.'
It is many hours since, and Jazzimus has yet to awaken, journal... I fear not for his life but his soul.
An accident. Another accident.